Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic will remain open for now, after an appeals court criticized as probably illegal a state law that requires doctors who perform the procedure obtain hospital admitting privileges.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans said enforcement of the law will remain suspended while a suit challenging it moves toward trial. In a 2-to-1 decision, the three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s rejection of Mississippi’s argument that women may still obtain abortions in neighboring states if the law is enforced.
“Mississippi may not shift its obligation to respect the established constitutional rights of its citizens to another state,” U.S. Circuit Judge Grady Jolly wrote.
The ruling isn’t the final word on the law, and the appeals panel narrowed the scope of the injunction to apply only to the parties in the case. As a result, any new Mississippi abortion clinics would have to file their own lawsuit.